Friday, Aug. 07, 2009

Los Angeles

Route: Canoga Park to Long Beach
Distance: 51 miles (82 km)

A ride along the dry, concrete riverbed of the L.A. River is a truly authentic urban experience — with views of graffitied walls, highway overpasses and a multitude of L.A. communities. (You might recognize the scenery as the backdrop of the pyrotechnic tractor-trailer chase in Terminator 2.) The river begins in Canoga Park, in the San Fernando Valley, and heads south to the Pacific Ocean, passing through 30 neighborhoods, including downtown L.A. It's a comfortable, flat ride, with frequent street access for exiting — and no cars! Just make sure you cycle here in dry season, June through October. If you prefer green to gritty, check out the several miles of river that flow through Griffith Park, where there is a traditional bike path with pocket parks, birds and food stands. Bike rentals are available inside the park at Spokes 'n' Stuff for $7 per hour.